"What If This Was More Social?"

My partner Nikki’s daughter, Abbey, is just starting Year 12 at school this week. I help her with her Maths and Chemistry study, and she’s a hard-working, disciplined and very competent student. In short, a pleasure to teach.

To help her further with her maths study, I’ve created a small (and growing) Web site with video tutorials showing worked solutions to sample exam questions. You’re welcome to check it out if you like, but unless you’re a fan of differential calculus, trigonometric functions, and similar impressive-sounding phrases, it doesn’t make riveting reading. For example, it’s got stuff like this:

Year 12 Maths Methods Sample Question

So you’re welcome to check it out if you like, but you’ve been warned!

Here’s the point …

I’m not sharing this with you just to prove that I’ve been a full-blown geek for more than 30 years! Rather, I want to explain how this came about, because there’s an important principle that is relevant for every business – and every business leader – now.

I first got this idea when preparing my recent webinar series, “Innovation Kick Start 2016”, and in conversation with my smart and wise friend, Brandon Munro.

As part of this webinar series, I shared 24 questions to spark innovation in your team, business, or community. I don’t need to list them all here now (but if you’re interested, they are in the Innovation chapter of my book “The Future of Leadership”). Let me focus on the one question that led to this Web site:

“What if this was more social?”

See, it’s one thing to help one student privately (which I will continue to do), but another thing altogether to share this in a “social” way.

It’s pretty clear that by making this Web site public, other Year 12 maths students around Australia will also get value from it. But that’s not enough for it to be “social”.

My real intention is that I don’t just want this to be a one-way street. I want students to comment, ask questions, request new videos, and share it with their friends. I’m also hoping teachers and maths tutors will have their say as well. So please share it with anybody you know who might be interested.

All of this means it becomes a richer resource for everybody (and, most importantly as far as I’m concerned, for Abbey).

This is a powerful principle.

The question “What if this was more social?” is not just useful, it’s profound when you apply it well.

If you’re Generation X (like me) or older, and haven’t grown up with social media in your DNA, it’s easy to underestimate just how powerful it is. Many people dismiss “social” as frivolous and unimportant. But it’s not.

When you truly make something social, you tap into the genius of your entire community. From places you’ve never heard of. And in ways you could never imagine.

It’s a key factor in being fit for the future, so ignore it at your peril!

How can YOU apply this principle?

Choose any product, service, process, or system in your organisation and ask the question: “What if this was more social?”

And if you can’t think of any answers, ask the young people in your team.

I bet you’ll find some interesting, innovative, and inspiring ideas!

What Next?

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